Of the five candidates that are running in the August 26th
primary to take on Democrat Congressman Joe Garcia in Congressional District 26 that runs from Miami to Key West, only Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo supports Common Core. And according to his op-ed in the Miami Herald
, he supports it in a big way.
In that piece, he used all of the typical pro-Common Core talking points while demonizing the experts and parents that have brought up many legitimate concerns. Here are a couple of the more egregious points:
"However, in order to win debates, and more important, elections, conservatives must brandish facts while ignoring scare tactics that yield irrational paranoia. Skepticism should not devolve into callousness, stubbornness, and the rejection of government in all its manifestations. Ours should be the belief that a limited and responsible government can contribute to the advancement of our nation and its people, and nowhere is that fact more evident or more critical than in the area of education. That is why we should support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12 education."
Translation Government overreach is bad, just not in education. Curbelo is apparently unaware that the RNC; the National Federation of Republican Women; multiple committees within the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF); nearly 30 Republican Executive Committees (RECs) in Florida; and almost all of the potential Republican presidential candidates except for Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee; have all rejected Common Core. Would he say that any of these people are irrationally paranoid?
Miami activist Maria Peiro put it well in the comments for this piece: "The Conservative thing to do is to NOT give up the state and local control over the education of our children. The best form of government is that which is closest to the people. To centralize curriculum and testing and put it in the hands of a few is a huge mistake for which we will all be sorry in the future when all sorts of mandates are forced upon us.
"Neither should it be a surprise that 45 states throughout the country including many like Florida which has been governed by Republicans since the 90s, are voluntarily embracing the CCSS. After all, how could any good conservative be opposed to high education standards for mathematics and English language arts?"
When Curbelo wrote this in June of 2013, he was also not unaware that many Republican governors would reject Common Core like Mary Fallin (OK), the chairwoman of the National Governor's Association; Bobby Jindal (LA), a former supporter; Nikki Hayley (SC); Pat McGrory of (NC); Scott Walker (WI); and ostensibly Mike Pence (IN).
None of the other four candidates Viet Nam veteran, former police officer and Mayor Ed Macdougall; Joe Matinez; Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck; and David Rivera, a former member of Congress who is not campaigning due to being investigated for corruption charges, but has not formally withdrawn from the race support Common Core. Only Mr. Curbelo does, who is endorsed by Jeb Bush, even though Bush did not talk to any of the other candidates and then half-heartedly apologized to Macdougall
. It is interesting to note, however, that education and mention of Common Core are no longer on the issues page of Curbelo's campaign website. Is he backing off the way Jeb Bush endorsee Carol Platt seems to be when she wouldn't answer a simple yes or no question
, political writer for the Herald said that Curbelo has "deploy[ed] the Jeb Bush bomb" in the race. He went on to portray that "Common Core hasn't appeared to hurt Bush's standing with Florida Republican voters. In a series of Florida polls, Quinnipiac University consistently finds he's most-liked by the GOP in a presidential match-up
against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who nevertheless edges him." What he did not point out was that there is other polling information reported in Sunshine State News
from a Survey USA
poll showing that Bush is now behind Senator Rand Paul here in Florida in head-to-head match-ups against Hillary Clinton.
The other thing that Caputo said that is highly debatable is, "Common Core, though, hasn't really been an issue in this congressional race. After all, Common Core was created and managed by the states. A federal conservative who opposes a states' rights issue has a measure of explaining to do." Mr. Caputo is apparently not aware that nearly the entire Republican U.S. House caucus voted yes on the Student Success Act which contained language limiting the federal Department of Education so that they would not "either directly or indirectly, attempt to influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards...or any other standards...or assessments tied to such standards." Common Core IS definitely a federal issue. It played a significant role in the CD 19 race won by Curt Clawson
and is playing a key role in the CD-9 primary
where another Bush endorsee appears to be behind anti-CCSS candidate Jorge Bonilla, and is taking heat about Common Core. Common Core has also been a prominent issue in other congressional primaries
across the nation.